Campus Under Ice and Snow

A residence hall in the snow.

Post by Kristi Woody, photographer and social media coordinator

As a student, I am certain that this week would have been something I could only dream about. Three days out of class and perfect sledding conditions? What more could a college student ask for?! As an employee, however, I’ve had a different reaction to our recent wintery situation. I can only handle so many days of what I call the “couch potato life,” and two days is my threshold. By Wednesday, I was ready to get out! Unfortunately my dead car battery had other plans. I talked my friend and coworker Sarah Belcher, graphic design specialist here at Union, into picking me up a little ways outside of my neighborhood, and we trekked over to campus. The main roads were clear, so we had no trouble. We spent some time walking around the Great Lawn area for me to take photos of the campus with a blanket of snow on it. It was just such a relief to be out of the house and looking at something other than an HGTV Property Brothers marathon! The time off really made me appreciate the environment that I work in here at Union. This is a place that I look forward to coming to each morning, not only for the work that I do, but for the people I’m surrounded by in this Godly place. It doesn’t hurt that it looks so lovely covered in snow!

I hope you all enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. Oh and, spring, if you’re listening, come quickly!

You can also browse the photos that our followers posted on Twitter and Instagram by searching the hashtag #UUicedin

The fountain area in the snow Ice on Miller Tower Students make their way across campus with makeshift sleds Miller Tower on a winter day The great lawn in the snow White Hall in the snow Miller Tower in the snow

First Year at UU – The Long Winter Break

Josiah Murphy headshot

Post by Josiah Murphy, freshman broadcast journalism major

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed awhile ago and came across a tweet by @CollegeStudent that said, College makes you appreciate home, home makes you appreciate college.Now that I have just finished Christmas break and am two weeks into the spring semester, I have a new appreciation for that quote.

After the conclusion of finals last semester, I was ready to go home, see my family, catch up on some much needed sleep, and eat a home cooked meal. While on break I also had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and to work. It is really easy to become disconnected from my family being eight hours away at college, so the long break gave me the opportunity to catch up on everything that had happened while I was gone.

During the month of January, Union has an optional J-Term which allows students to live on campus and take accelerated courses. This is helpful if you dont have enough credit hours to graduate on time or to get ahead and help you graduate early. If you choose not participate in J-Term, then you get a nearly two-month-long break.

However, the downside to having such a long break is you start to miss your friends. I have made so many solid friendships here at Union that not seeing those friends for two months is almost torture. Living with your friends allows you to develop deep relationships very quickly. Whenever you want to hang out with someone, all you have to do is take a quick walk over to his or her room (if he or she doesnt live with you). Though I greatly enjoyed my time at home, I realized how much my new friends meant to me.

As you begin your last semester of high school, I encourage you to finish strong. You have a lot to look forward to in college, but dont let it distract you from the task at hand. Know that many of us here at Union are praying for you and your decision, and we hope to see you on campus next fall!


Photo by Victor Miller, student photographer

Mark Campbell Reaches 500 Career Wins

Team photo from Mark Campbell's first year as head coach

Mark Campbell, far right, in his first team photo as head women’s basketball coach.

Mark Campbell has been head women’s basketball coach at Union University for 15 seasons and has time and time again proven his merits as a coach. If asked about his achievements, he credits his assistant coaches and players more than himself. This humble, team-centered attitude is at the root of what makes him a great coach, and last night was an important milestone for him. The 77-66 victory over Valdosta State marked his 500th career win. Check out for more on this story and Mark Campbell’s career.

Photos below are from the game against Valdosta State.

Mark Campbell talks with a player during the gameMark Campbell cheers during a game Mark Campbell watches the action unfold from the bench Mark Campbell yells out a play Mark Campbell watches the intense action under the goal Mark Campbell and players during a timeout Mark Campbell yells plays from the sideline Mark Campbell instructs players Mark Campbell discusses the game after the win Mark Campbell celebrates with the players in the locker room

Mandy White: ‘When I walked onto campus, I felt at home’

Mandy White headshotMandy White had recently graduated from Union in 1998 and was looking for work. She was babysitting for a sorority sister, who informed her about a temp job at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

“Might as well,” White thought to herself. “I need a job.”

Sixteen and a half years later, White is still with the organization. Her temp job became a permanent administrative assistant job. From there she moved through the ranks as a coordinator, manager and vice president before becoming the Chamber’s senior vice president of economic development.

“I don’t think there’s a better place to become assimilated into a community than the Chamber of Commerce,” White says. “My role is to sell Jackson and Madison County to industrial companies looking at either locating a new operation somewhere or expanding.”

A native of Ashland City, Tennessee, economic development wasn’t in her plans when she came to Union. She majored in psychology, graduating in 1998.

“Union was the only college to which I applied,” White says. “I knew when I walked onto campus, I felt at home.”

White says Union provided her a tremendous amount of leadership opportunities through the Greek system and other student organizations. Since she didn’t know anyone when she began as a student, White had to learn how to network.

“Through those leadership roles, through the activities on campus, that helped prepare me for what I do every day now,” she says. “I talk with people every day that I don’t know.”

White originally planned to work for a social service nonprofit, because she enjoys helping people and giving back to the community. While that wasn’t where her path led, she still finds her work in economic development rewarding.

“When I drive by a plant and see a car sitting out there, and I know I might have had a little to do with creating that job and that disposable income for that family, that’s just as fulfilling as what I thought I might have ended up doing,” she says.

Mandy chats with a colleague at the Chamber Mandy works at her desk at the Chamber

Residence Life Team Makes January Term Exciting for Students

With January term coming to a close at the end of this week, we thought we’d re-cap some of the events that took place this month. J-term, like our summer terms, lasts only one month. Students usually take one or two classes, and cram the lecture time, studying and essay writing into one month. It’s an incredibly smart way to get extra credits out of the way, but it’s hard work.

Luckily for the on-campus students, Residence Life puts in some hard work as well! The res-life team organized events for each Thursday evening to give students a chance to take a break and have fun. The first event was the ping pong tournament, followed by a Bunko tournament and finally a Union University version of The Amazing Race, which took students all over campus hunting for clues.

Photos below are from all three events, starting with the ping pong tournament. Thanks for all your hard work, Residence Life!

Ping Pong paddles ready to go for the Res-life tournamentTim Call welcomes ping pong players and spectators to the tournament

Students participate in a ping pong tournament in the Bowld Commons

Students participate in a ping pong tournament in the Bowld Commons Students participate in a Ping Pong tournament in the Bowld Student Commons. Students watch and keep score for the Ping Pong tournament in the Bowld.

The next set of photos is from the Bunko tournament

Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym One of the Bunko tournaments set up and ready for players Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym

Finally, The Amazing Race. RAs were stationed all over campus, equipped with challenges for the teams and clues for the next location. Challenges included burpees, finding gum in a whipped cream pie and blowing a bubble with it (without using your hands), solving a math problem and retrieving a brick from the bottom of the pool. The students went all out on the challenges, and it was impressive how quickly they solved the clues to find the next challenge location!

Kayla McKinney lays out the rules of the Amazing Race game that took students all over campus. One team gets their clue for the next location in the Amazing Race game around campus. A student completes a physical challenge for the Amazing Race on campus Students complete a challenge during the Amazing Race event Students complete a quiz for a challenge in the Amazing Race game A team tries to solve a riddle in the Amazing Race game on campus A student dives into the pool for the last challenge of the Amazing Race.

Christmas with the Olivers

Each generation of students seems to create its own traditions, most likely brought on by changes in what’s considered “cool.” However, there are some traditions that rise above the cultural shifts and remain solid from year to year. One of those generation-spanning traditions is the reading of the Christmas story by the president. This year was the 18th time this event has occurred, but the first time it was called Christmas with the Olivers.

Christmas with the Olivers took place in the McAfee Commons, which was decorated with lights and stocked with plenty of cookies and hot cocoa. Students piled onto the couches, chairs and even the floor as Dr. Dub and Susie made their way in. To start off Dr. Dub asked students to share a few of their favorite Christmas traditions, which ranged from cooking special dishes to adding a new ornament to the tree with family. Next the entire group joined in singing a few carols such as Deck the Halls and The First Noel. Dr. Dub then took a minute to document the crowd (he tweeted the photo later). To wrap up the evening Dr. Dub read both The Night Before Christmas and Luke 2, followed by another carol, Silent Night, during which everyone gathered closely together and locked arms. It was a truly special evening, where students were able to celebrate Christmas with the president and first lady.

Dr. Dub speaking to residence life employees before the event

Students gathered in the commons to fellowship with the president and first lady

Dr. Dub chatting with students before the Christmas Story.

Dr. Dub leads in some Christmas Carols.

Dr. Dub and Susie singing carols with students.

Susie Oliver, first lady of Union, singing carols with students.

Dr. Dub leaning back to get a photo of the crowd of students in the commons.

Dr. Dub reading A Night Before Christmas.

Dr. Dub reading A Night Before Christmas

Hot chocolate mugs resting on the table by the president.

Dr. Dub reading Night Before Christmas.

Dr. Dub reading a passage from Luke 2.

Dr. Dub and Susie singing one final carol with students.

Dr. Dub and Susie standing in a circle with students singing a Christmas song.

Meet Our Student Bloggers

Throughout this semester, we’ve had a few students pen some blog posts about their first year at Union. The students have done a great job portraying what it’s like to be here, and we are looking forward to hearing even more from them next semester. We thought it would be nice to have a proper introduction to these wonderful students who have given so willingly of their time to blog for us, so without further ado, meet our bloggers!

Josiah Murphy headshot Josiah Murphy, freshman Christian studies major.

  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – corn nuggets
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – Waffle House
  • Favorite movie – Forrest Gump
  • Hidden talent – It’s still hidden from me!
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – Jamaica
  • Why I picked Union – I picked Union because during my visit I met a group with whom I immediately connected and wanted to spend time. My sister also attended Union and the school treated us all like family and I really appreciated that.
  • Extracurricular Activities – Greek life; Student Ambassador; Buster the Bulldog mascot

Chandler Bell headshot Chandler Bell, freshman accounting major

  • Favorite band – Coldplay
  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – Wrap Wednesday
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – Kroger
  • Favorite book – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Hidden talent – It wouldn’t be hidden if I told you
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – El Salvador
  • Why I picked Union – The community here is something you can’t find anywhere else.  You’re genuinely cared for.
  • Extracurricular Activities – Freshman council and Greek Life

EmilyJohnson-200 Emily Johnson, freshman biology major

  • Favorite band – Right now, probably the Oh Hellos, although it will likely change in a week!
  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – the mac and cheese, for sure
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – I enjoy going to Alba, a coffee shop downtown. It is definitely the best place to study off campus. Plus, their coffee is incredible!
  • Favorite book – Right now, one of my favorite books is Manalive by G.K. Chesterton.
  • Hidden talent – I am creepily adept at picking objects up with my feet.
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – The glorious Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
  • Why I picked Union – Both my sisters had the privilege of attending Union, and I fell in love with it through them! Union is genuinely Christ-centered, and the community is welcoming and encouraging. I can’t imagine going to school anywhere else!
  • Extracurricular Activities – Student Government Association

StevenCutliff-200Stephen Cutliff, freshman international business major

  • Favorite band – Maroon 5, Rascal Flatts, and Mumford And Sons
  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – pepperoni pizza and french fries
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – movie theater (Jackson 16)
  • Favorite book – the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher
  • Hidden talent – I’m really flexible
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – Neply, Haiti
  • Why I picked Union – I really wanted to go to a Christian college. Union seemed like a college that really cared about me. They also offered good scholarships and I was able to get a job on campus.
  • Extracurricular Activities – Student Activities Council and Men’s Choir

Yee Eun Lee headshot Yee Eun Lee, freshman pre-professional major

  • Favorite musician – Bruno Mars
  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – chocolate ice cream
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – Alba (coffee shop downtown)
  • Hidden talent – rugby, I was on my high school’s team
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – Philippines and Korea
  • Why I picked Union – God called me to come to Union
  • Extracurricular Activities – BIOME, SMACS (American Chemical Society), and the International Students Organization

From Differential Equations to Bank President, Grisham Values his Union Education

gary grisham headshotGary Grisham looks back on his time at Union with a sense of accomplishment – especially in one particular area.

“My highest academic achievement was passing Richard Dehn’s differential equations class,” Grisham says.

Nearly 40 years later, Dehn is still teaching math at Union, and the skills he taught to Grisham have paid off. Grisham is now the chairman and CEO of The Bank of Jackson and a strong supporter of Union University.

“I’ve always thought of my diploma as a stock certificate – that I actually own a piece of the campus,” Grisham says. “I think I’ve truly gotten a great return, if you look at in the financial sense. I do believe my degree is worth more today than it was even when I finished.”

A native of Memphis, Grisham transferred to Union after two years at a community college. He played baseball his junior year and basketball both his junior year and senior year. Baseball proved to be a bit of a stumbling block to him, because he failed Dehn’s class as a junior – which Grisham attributes to several missed classes because of baseball games.

Grisham with his college basketball teammates

Grisham pictured here with his basketball teammates. He is on the bottom row, third from the right.

His senior year, he didn’t play baseball specifically so he could focus on that pesky differential equations class. He made a B.

Grisham graduated in 1975, a member of the last graduating class on the old Union campus. He met his wife Susan while he was a Union student, and their daughter Mallory followed in their footsteps, graduating in 2009 with a nursing degree.

Through the years, Grisham’s love for Union has continued to grow.

“Union has always been a highly respected, highly regarded institution of higher learning,” he says. “Today, its light shines brighter than ever.”


Grisham's basketball photo and a photo of him escorting his wife at homecoming

Grisham escorting Susan Pittman, whom he would later marry, at a homecoming game | Grisham’s basketball portrait.

Grisham in his office

Grisham in his office

Grisham chatting with bank employees

Union basketball boasts tremendous start for 2014-2015 season

Post by: Lydia Wright, senior public relations major

The men’s and women’s basketball teams are both undefeated after the first three weeks of competition. With conference play beginning this week, both teams hope to make a statement in the Gulf South Conference as they are eligible for NCAA Division II postseason play for the first time.

The men’s team is currently 6-0 with one of those wins coming from an overtime victory against Stillman College on Nov. 22, as part of the University of Alabama Huntsville Classic. Senior guard Corieon Pearson hit a three pointer with 20 seconds left in overtime to give the Bulldogs the lead, 79-78, and ultimately the victory.

Senior guard, Pedro Faller, looks for a pass in the homecoming game

The Bulldogs have reached 90 plus points twice already this season, as they scored 99 points in their season opener against Lemoyne-Owen College and 96 points in the win against Rust College.

The men’s team opens conference play against Shorter University on Friday, Dec. 4, in Rome, Georgia, followed by another conference game, Saturday, Dec. 5, at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.

As for the women’s team, while most students were at home visiting family over Thanksgiving Break, the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to participate in the Nova Southeastern Classic. At the time, Nova was ranked number one in all of NCAA Division II.

Amy Philamlee, senior sports medicine major, plays defense

On Friday, Nov. 29, the Lady Bulldogs faced off against Sunshine State Conference member, Barry University, (Fla.) with the women coming out victorious, 70-61.

Saturday brought the second and final match of the tournament for the Lady Bulldogs, as they were set to play the host team, Nova. The Bulldogs came out victorious once again, beating the top team in the nation 83-78.

The two wins at Nova brought the Lady Bulldogs to an overall record of 4-0, making a combined record of 10-0 for Bulldog basketball so far this season. Along with the men’s team, the women will also face off against Shorter and Lee University this coming weekend.

With the way these two teams have begun playing, the GSC teams look like they are in for some tough competition from the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs this season.

Topping Out Ceremony for the Library

Many people may not have heard of a “topping out,” but it’s quite a neat event during the construction of a building. The idea behind this tradition is to celebrate the pinnacle of a building project, which in our case is the new library. To commemorate laying the final steel beam on the structure, students, faculty, staff and alumni signed their names to the beams. In addition, we heard from several key people at the university and prayed for God’s blessing over the remainder of construction. To learn more about this event, check out our news release.

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